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Photographs by Richard Edson
The following pages contain photographs of American Apparel's Downtown Los Angeles-based T-shirt manufacturing factory and their employees. These images are part of an extensive collection photographed by Richard Edsen. They will eventually be going into a documentary book about the groundbreaking company.
American Apparel will be one of the most efficient companies in the world, whereby no community or human being is adversely affected by their business practice. Throughout the next four years, the company plans to convert the company plans to convert over 80% of it's cotton consumption to sustainable cotton (organic or quasi-organic cotton). In 2004, they plan to utilize at least 20% environmentally sustainable cotton and blend it into their general production. American Apparel will also arrange for the recycling of over half a million pounds of fabric scraps.
American Apparel is a capitalist success as much as a socialist success, making the business more than just a charity that the conventional competition views as an economical failure. Recent analysis proves that American Apparel is one of the most profitable operations in the T-shirt industry, making it a business model that can be applied to thousands of companies and industries worldwide.
Part of our plan is to bring dignity back to manufacturing. The fax machine replaced the telex, e-mail replaced the fax machine, world transportation got easier, barriers to trade dropped and outsourcing became the fashion of industrialism. We are bringing the work back into the company, as opposed to bind outsourcing. We are creating an environment of efficiency where we explore ways of maximizing human potential.
Senior Partner, American Apparel
Made in Downtown LA—Vertically Integrated Manufacturing